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Muskogee Public Schools asking for $110 million bond

Posted at 5:56 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 18:56:47-04

MUSKOGEE, Okla. -- Muskogee Public Schools is proposing a $110 million bond that is slated to add improvements to every school in the district.

"Every single year we have teachers misplaced due to flooding issues," said Alicia Sloat, a third grade teacher at Sadler Arts Academy in Muskogee.

Five classrooms sit in the basement of the Sadler Arts Academy. With a ramp funneling rain towards the classrooms and one small drain, teachers are forced to throw out water soaked supplies.

"In the 6A school districts across the state of Oklahoma, our facilities are probably the worst facilities of all of the schools across the state of Oklahoma," said Dr. Jarod Mendenhall, Superintendent for Muskogee Public Schools.

Dr. Mendenhall proposed a $110 million bond and says all projects could be complete by 2023.

"Whether it’s safety and security, or new furniture, new lighting, a new roof, there are new things coming in for every single site," said Dr. Mendenhall.

One of the biggest safety and security measures pushed in this bond is to build vestibules at every school, making sure visitors have to check in at the front office before gaining access to the classrooms.

"Those are the spaces that we’ll really modify to make people feel more comfortable coming in but also add a more secure entry," said Dr. Mendenhall.

It's not only protecting students from outside threats, but money from the bond would fix issues inside classrooms.

"We have two buildings that really struggle with all kind of environmental issues including mold and asbestos," said Dr. Mendenhall.

Alice Robertson, which is vacant, will be knocked down along with Tony Goetz Elementary and will both be rebuilt.

If the bond passes, property taxes increase but school officials say the district is in desperate need for improvements.

"If all it takes is for me to skip a morning coffee two or three days out of the month, then I’m willing to do that and I hope the public of Muskogee feels the same way," said Sloat.

The vote is on October 8. For more information on the bond you can visit the Muskogee district's website.

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